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12.5: Sometimes Long <e> is Spelled <i> or <y>

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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1. Two other very important spellings of [ē] are <i> and <y>. The <i> spelling of [ē] usually occurs in the V.V pattern and sometimes in the VCV pattern. It only occurs in the V# pattern in foreign words recently brought into our language, such as broccoli, spaghetti, macaroni. The V# pattern is the one in which the <y> spelling of [ē] always occurs. Both the <e> and the <y> spellings often occur in weakly stressed syllables. Underline the <i>'s and <y>'s that are spelling [ē] in the following words:

abilitycuriositymagazinegloomyvarietyjolliestgasolineenthusiasmfieryobediencerealitychocolatychampionmachineguardianobviouspianoingredientangrydignitymediumperiodroutinepolliwogcommunitygloriouspolicelibraryvariousencyclopedia

2. Sort the words into the following two groups. One word goes into both groups:

Words with
<y> <i>
ability chocolaty curiosity piano
curiosity angry magazine ingredient
gloomy dignity jolliest medium
variety community gasoline period
fiery library enthusiasm routine
reality obedience polliwog
champion glorious
machine police
guardian various
obvious encyclopedia

3. Now sort the words with [ē] spelled <i> into the following two groups:

Words with
V.V VCV
curiosity piano magazine
jolliest ingredient gasoline
enthusiasm medium machine
obedience period routine
champion glorious polliwog
guardian various police
obvious encyclopedia

4. In what pattern does the <y> spelling of [ē] always occur? V#

5. Five words in the list in Item 1 that contain [ē] spelled <e> are . . .

obediencerealityingredientmediumencyclopedia

Word Alchemy. Hundreds of years ago alchemy was the ancestor of modern chemistry. The alchemists worked hard trying to change lead into gold. In the puzzle below you can change the word lead into the word gold. Here are the rules:

  1. Any shaded square must contain the same letter as the square directly above it.
  2. Any unshaded square must contain a different letter from the square directly above it.
  3. Every row must contain an English word.

Hints: Since you know that the two shaded squares in row 2 must contain the same letters as the two squares directly above them, you know that they must contain <e> and <a>. And since you know that the two shaded squares in row 4 contain the same letters as the two squares directly above them, you know that the word in row 3 must end with the letters <ld>. You should write the <ea> and <ld> into rows 2 and 3. You won't know what the shaded square in row 3 contains until you know the word that goes in row 2, so you can't write in the first letter in row 3 yet. That gives you the following:

Your job now is to find two words that fit into rows 2 and 3. Each must contain four letters. Because of rule number one above, you know that the first word must have<ea> in the middle; the second must end in <ld>, and they must both start with the same letter. Because of rule number two, you also know that the word in row 2 cannot start with <l> or end with <d>, and the word in row 3 cannot have <go> as its first two letters. The two words beat and bald would work. So would meat and mild. There are other workable pairs.

Here are some more Word Alchemies for you to solve:

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. The only common word that ends in the <i> spelling of [ē] is taxi, which was clipped from the longer original name, taximeter cabriolet, the tax meaning “tax, charge.” Some less common instances: mi, ti, khaki, chilli, coati, mufti, ennui, martini, okapi, agouti, vermicelli The foreign look to these words confirms the absence of word-final <i> in native English words.

Word Alchemy. There are any number of other possible solutions to these puzzles.

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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Oct 09, 2015
Last Modified:
Jun 02, 2016
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